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Pelargonium cotyledonis (Old Father Live Forever)


Scientific Name

Pelargonium cotyledonis (L.) L'Hér.

Common Names

Old Father Live Forever, Hollyhock-leaved Pelargonium


Erodium sempervivum, Geranium cotyledonis, Isopetalum cotyledonis, Pelargonium cotyledon, Pelargonium cotyledonifolium

Scientific Classification

Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Pelargonium


Pelargonium cotyledonis is a perennial, sparsely branched succulent up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. For most of the year is leafless, producing in summer a loose rosette of orbicular leaves up to 2 inches (5 cm) long on stalks up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long. In the center of the rosette is borne a slender scape up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, bearing loosely branched umbels of flowers. The leathery, prominently-veined leaves and the regular, pure white flowers distinguish this species from all others.

Pelargonium cotyledonis (Old Father Live Forever)

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USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Most Pelargoniums are grown in pots in a greenhouse or conservatory. They can also be grown inside the house, but need to be in the sunniest area possible. Many species do well when they are planted outside in an open area so that they can become larger plants. This can be a problem though if you want to replant them in a pot for the winter months. Cuttings can be taken in the summertime instead to make new plants.

Succulent species grow well with other succulents and cacti. Pelargoniums are very attractive and one of the toughest and most durable succulents.

Pelargoniums main requirement is a warm, sunny, sheltered location. Many species will tolerate drought conditions for short periods. They will show you when they want water by producing a crop of new leaves, almost all species are winter growers. After the summer you can wait until the plant begins to grow, but you can also give them lights sprayings or shower to stimulate their growth. When they are in full leaves they like water, but as always keep the soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering can cause unnatural growth… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Pelargonium


Pelargonium cotyledonis is endemic on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.


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